Judge decides influencer involved in burning Minneapolis police station is “a good person who made a terrible mistake”
A social media influencer has been sentenced to two years and five months in federal prison for being involved in the burning of a Minneapolis police station last summer.
Even though Williams was described as a “leader not a follower” of the violent group that destroyed the station on the night of May 28, 2020, Judge Schiltz believes that the defendant is “a good person who made a terrible mistake.”
“Please have mercy on me while you sentence me,” the defendant reportedly asked the judge.
According to the news outlet, the judge said he was sentencing Williams to less time because he was the last to plead guilty and cooperate with the prosecution.
“But Schiltz said Williams' role in the violence warranted prison time, and that Williams had no idea how many people may have been in the building, including good police officers and those who didn't work in law enforcement, when he recklessly lit it on fire,” the Star Tribune pointed out.
Williams was one of more than a thousand people who gathered outside the police station last year. The crowd chanted to “burn it down”, The Star Tribune points out.
Williams is a biracial man who grew up in predominantly white suburbs. He was the first in his family to graduate from college due to a basketball scholarship.
“George Floyd helped me figure out who I am,” he told the Star Tribune.
Williams published videos of himself and other people during the riots and gained over 150,000 followers on social media.
The attack on the Minneapolis police station was part of the protests for George Floyd’s death.